The Cayman Islands is extending its border closure for an additional 30 days until October 1 amid concerns over the extent of the pandemic in the US.

However, talks are underway with British Airways to introduce a regular fortnightly service to Gatwick as an air bridge with the UK remains open.

The airline is to run a flight from the island nation to the London airport on August 28, mainly for school children and their parents ahead of the start of the academic year in September.

The islands’ governor’s office confirmed it was in in “advanced discussions” with BA over a regular air link, with more details expected next week. 

Cayman Airways will continue to operate repatriation flights to Miami, Jamaica and Honduras during the extended border closure.

The Islands’ tourism and transport department said: “During this time, repatriation flights by Cayman Airways will continue to operate on an ad hoc basis and the air bridge between the UK and the Cayman Islands will also remain open, as this provides a vitally important link between the two countries.”

The Cayman Islands government announced the extension of the border closure “having continually monitored the rate of infection in other countries, particularly in the United States where the pandemic is still widespread”.

Tourism minister Moses Kirkconnell added: “From the outset of the pandemic the government has placed the highest priority on public health and safety and we are approaching the reopening of the Islands borders with the same degree of due care and attention.

“It is unfortunate that this decision had to be taken but we believe it is the most prudent thing to do given the environment beyond our shores.

“Waiting to open our borders is allowing us to learn from the experiences of other countries and is ensuring that sufficient time is allocated to putting all of the necessary precautions in place keep our Islands safe and people protected.”